One of the things I find puzzling is that not only do conservatives tend to think their narrow construction of the US Constitution’s “commerce clause” is correct, but they seem universally convinced that it’s obviously correct and that liberal efforts to construe it as authorizing broad economic regulation are clearly bad faith. From my part, it’s just the reverse. I can totally see why reasonable people disagree as to what the 2nd Amendment is saying, but read through the Constitution’s list of congressional powers of economic regulation:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
[stuff about the military]
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
You often hear the phrase “interstate commerce” used in discussion of these issues, but it literally does not appear in the constitution. This reads to me like a laundry list of items aimed at establishing a federal government with comprehensive responsibility for the national economy. If you want to say that in the 1790 context a lot of people were engaged in purely local agricultural context and that sort of thing isn’t covered by this, then perhaps that’s fair enough, but basically none of the modern economy has that character.
If you want to be silly, you could try to say that all this doesn’t mean the federal government can issue paper money—coins only!—but that’s a goofy way to deal with old-fashioned phrasing in a legal document. The phrase “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes” is 18th century-ese for “regulate the economy.”